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In Moonlight's Shadow by Gryffin_Duck
Chapter 17 : The Adirondack Academy of Magic
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 8


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Disclaimer-  Well, I do own most of the stuff in this chapter!  I don't own the wizarding world, though.






    The best way to describe Uncle Jack's house is, like Uncle Jack, unique.  I have never been in a stranger house than Uncle Jack's.  It's situated on a plot of land that's about five acres, which he owns.  It's mostly bush, but there is about an acre of open area that Uncle Jack uses to grown his own fruit and vegetables.  He grows all sorts of stuff like potatoes, cherry tomatoes, peas, corn, strawberries, blueberries, and apples. 

    The house itself is on the small side compared to mine.  Uncle Jack inherited a load of money from my grandparents just like Dad did, but I'm not really sure what he did with most of it.  I know he bought his land and built his house with some of it, but I've got no idea what happened to the rest.  His house has got to be the strangest design I've ever seen.  On the first floor is the kitchen, dining room, and living room.  When you first walk into the house, you're in the kitchen.  If you turn right, you'll be in the dining room, the left you'd be in the living room.  None of the rooms are square.  The kitchen's actually got five walls.  The other two rooms have four walls, but they're all different lengths.  The doorways aren't level either. 

    On the second floor are the bedrooms and bathrooms.  There's three bedrooms and two bathrooms.  Only one bathroom's got a shower and bath.  These rooms aren't normal looking either.  They've got sloped ceilings and strange sized doors.  They're also situated in a circle.  When you reach the top of the stairs, you're in the middle of the circle.  Across from you is a bedroom, next to that a bathroom, then another bedroom, the second bathroom, and finally the third bedroom.

    However, the oddly shaped rooms and strange construction of the house is only the beginning.  What's more interesting is what you'll find inside the house.  The decor is so mismatched that Cinda would probably have a hippogriff as soon as she set foot in the kitchen.  There's an assortment of Muggle contraptions all from various eras, from a telegraph to a black and white television to a fancy new computer.  Then there are the wizard items, from old broken wands to sneakoscopes to worn out invisibility cloaks.  Plus, there's the random junk that's just laying around.  Uncle Jack swears he'll find a use for all of it, but I'm not so sure.  He collects everything and I mean everything.  He's even got a large box full of stones of various sizes that he insists he needs. 

    Today was no different and as soon as I stepped out of the floo and into the living room, I saw the normal piles of stuff cluttering up the room.  I didn't even try to suppress my grin as I gazed around at the house.  It had been so long since we visited and I hadn't even realized how much I missed the place before now.

    Mum and Dad were already looking around at the room.  Dad was grinning and shaking his head as he fingered an ugly cloak that Cinda wouldn't have touched with a ten-foot pole.  Mum had picked up a broken copper kettle that no longer had a bottom and was eying it with trepidation.

    "Same old Jack,"  Dad smiled.

    A moment later, the fire turned green again and out stepped Uncle Jack and Matt.  Uncle Jack lowered Matt to the floor and he immediately went to check out a pile of stuff on the floor.

    "Welcome back to my abode,"  Uncle Jack grinned.

    "Hasn't changed a bit,"  Dad laughed.

    "Just added more stuff,"  Uncle Jack commented,  "Now, Amy, Matt, go look out the window."

    I ran over to the window and pulled up the blinds.  Uncle Jack turned out the light and I gasped as I saw the white blanket that covered the yard.  Snow!  It was snowing!  The snow looked so much better than it had in the few Muggle movies I had watched.  It looked so peaceful outside with the white fluffy dots falling softly from the sky.  It was as if nothing could be wrong in the world if the snow was there.

    "It's beautiful,"  I murmured.

    "I want to go play in it!"  Matt shouted.

    "Maybe tomorrow,"  Uncle Jack told him,  "It's almost dark now.  And it's time for dinner."

    "Oh, yeah, spiedies!"  Matt exclaimed and ran into the kitchen.

    "I'll have to cook them in the oven,"  Uncle Jack said as the rest of us went into the kitchen,  "Since I can't barbecue in the snow."

    Uncle Jack had the spiedies cooked in no time.  I'm pretty sure he has altered his oven with magic, but I can't say for sure.  We all sat down at the table and I piled my roll high with spiedies.  Then I added ketchup and mustard.  I didn't care if that really wasn't how you were supposed to eat them.  I liked the way they tasted with ketchup and mustard.

    After dinner, we went back into the living room and Uncle Jack and my parents started talking about the visit to the school the next day.  I listened carefully as I played a game of Gobstones with Matt.

    "What do you know about this school?"  Dad asked.

    "Not much,"  Uncle Jack shrugged,  "Never really bothered to look into it  since I haven't got any kids.  I know a few people who do have kids who go there, though.  They're happy with it, although it's the only wizarding school in New York, so it's pretty much the only option besides home schooling.  Just like in Australia."

    "Seems like it's that way everywhere,"  Dad said,  "How about the Headmaster?  Know much about him?"

    "Nope.  Never met him.  Heard he's a very understanding bloke, though.  Kind of the opposite of Killigan."

    "That's what we're hoping for,"  Dad muttered.

    "Never thought Killigan would turn out like this, though,"  Uncle Jack continued,  "I mean, he was tough when we were there, but it never crossed my mind that he was so prejudiced."

    "Never really would have, though, would it?"  Mum said,  "I mean, we were kind of blissfully ignorant at that school.  Did either of you really think about what the teachers were like outside of school?"

    "Not really,"  Dad said.

    "I guess not,"  Uncle Jack said.

    I agreed with that.  I hadn't really thought about any of my teachers besides how well they taught.  It never once crossed my mind that any of them could be prejudiced or anything like that.  They were just teachers to me, there to teach us and nothing else. 

    "Makes me wonder what would have happened if we did know back then.  If it would have changed anything,"  Dad sighed.

    "Think about it, Walt,"  Uncle Jack said,  "Would it really have changed anything?  Would you have moved years ago if you had known Killigan was so prejudiced?"

    Dad thought for a long time before answering.  "Honestly, I don't really think we would have.  Do you, Julie?"

    Mum sighed,  "No, I don't think we would have.  Because back then, it wouldn't have really mattered."

    "Exactly,"  Uncle Jack replied,  "So you shouldn't be beating yourselves up over this.  Nobody could have foreseen this.  You've just got to deal with it as it happens."

    "I know, I know,"  Dad murmured.  "It's just, I keep thinking that maybe we shouldn't have waited so long to find out if Killigan would let him in.  If we had done it sooner, we could have had this all behind us...."
   
    "And it would have been just as hard then,"  Uncle Jack pointed out,  "Maybe even harder.  Could you have imagined dealing with finding a new school when you were already dealing with everything else?"

    "I guess not,"  Dad said after a few moments,  "But there's plenty going on now...."

    "I think it's good you're doing it now.  In reality, you could have even waited.  Matt's got three years until school.  But if you had waited until then, Amy would have been going to a new school just for her last year."

    I hadn't thought of that.  They really could have waited.  I shuddered at the thought of having to switch schools for just one year.  Of course, maybe that would have been better.  If I hate the new school, I'm going to have four years of it to deal with.

    "I suppose you're right,"  Dad sighed.

    "Now, when are you visiting the school?"  Uncle Jack asked.

    "Tomorrow, ten o'clock,"  Dad replied,  "We're Flooing to the nearby village and the headmaster is meeting us there."

    "Mind if I join you?  I'm off work tomorrow."

    "Not at all,"  Dad smiled,  "We'd be glad to have you.  I was hoping you'd be able to direct us to a good real estate agent afterwards anyway.  Got to look at houses while we're here."

    I groaned inwardly.  Look at houses.  Houses that we might live in.  I just hoped that my parents wouldn't actually buy one this trip.  But if they made up their minds that we were going to move to New York, chances are they would buy one this trip.

    "Of course,"  Uncle Jack said.

    Mum insisted that we go to bed shortly after that.  Since I had slept on the plane, I wasn't the least bit tired, but I didn't want to argue over a simple issue like going to bed.  It's not like I had to go to sleep anyway.

    Matt and I entered the bedroom we usually stayed in. Our room was also used as another storage place, so there were boxes of random stuff all over it.  Among all the boxes were two ornately carved wooden beds with patchwork quilts.  I set my suitcase down at the foot of the one that was closest to the window.  I gazed out into the night sky and all I wanted to do was stargaze all night.  The sky was totally different in the Northern Hemisphere and I rarely got to look at it.

    I watched the stars for a long time while Matt rifled through Uncle Jack's boxes.  Eventually, the moon rose high enough to shine into the window and I had to close the blinds before it gave Matt a headache.  Why my parents had scheduled this trip so close to the full moon, I had no idea.  Maybe they were thinking that it would pay off in the long run if we wound up moving here.

    I dug a book out of my suitcase, grabbed my wand, and climbed underneath the quilt.  Despite the cold outside, Uncle Jack's house was toasty warm.  I settled back, lit my wand, and started to read.

    "Amy?"  Matt whispered after a few minutes,  "Are you awake?"

    "'Course I am,"  I muttered,  "Slept all day on the plane."

    "You don't want to move, do you?"  he asked so quietly I could barely hear him.

    "Not really,"  I replied,  "I like my school."

    "But the headmaster doesn't like me."

    "Never said I liked the headmaster,"  I sighed, "I like my teachers and Olivia's there."

    "If we move here, I'll go to school like you do, right?"

    "I'm pretty sure that's the point of moving here,"  I rolled my eyes.

    Matt was silent for a few minutes and then mumbled something incoherent.

    "What?"  I asked.

    "What if nobody likes me here either?"

    I sighed.  I wasn't the person to have an emotional conversation with.  Even though I had made it perfectly clear that I didn't want to move, my brother was looking to me for reassurance about it.  That made a whole lot of sense.

    "Why wouldn't they?"  I asked, hoping that maybe there was another reason besides the obvious one as to why he thought nobody would like him.

    "Because of what I am,"  Matt whispered.

    Nope, no other reason.  "Well, we wouldn't be here if the headmaster hadn't already agreed to let you attend.  And you heard Uncle Jack, the headmaster is nice."

    "I don't mean the headmaster,"  Matt's voice cracked,  "I'm talking about the other kids."

    Oh.  I definitely wasn't the one to be asking advice for on this.  Most of the other girls in my year didn't like me.

    "Well, er, it's not like they're going to know.  It's not like you'll be walking into brekkie the first day and shouting, 'Guess what?  I'm a werewolf,'"  I suppressed a laugh at the thought of that,  "None of the other kids will have any idea you're a werewolf."

    "What if they guess?  What if they figure out why I'm gone once a month?"

    "You'll have excuses, they won't find out.  And if they do, I'm sure Dad will figure something out."

    "Are you sure?"

    No, I'm not sure.  How could I possibly be sure?  "Yeah, don't worry about it."

    "Ok."

    I sighed and went back to reading.  Why was he looking to me for reassurance?  It's not like I'd done anything remotely like this before. 

    "Amy?"

    I sighed again and laid my book down on the bed.  I guess I wouldn't be getting much reading done that night.  I pointed my wand at my brother and he squinted his eyes as the light flooded him.  When he opened them again, he looked scared.

    "What?"  I asked.

    "Are you really that mad about moving?"  he asked quietly, hardly moving.

    "Yes,"  I said after a moment.  There really wasn't much point in lying to him.  "The last thing I want to do is move right now, but I haven't got a say in the matter."

    "Oh,"  he replied and rolled over.  My wand was now illuminating his small back.

    I watched him for a few minutes before picking my book up again.  He didn't say anything else.  I guess my blatant answer to his question made him not want to talk to me anymore. 

                        ******

    I must have fallen asleep at some point during the night, because the next thing I knew, Mum was shaking me awake.  I groaned and sat up, feeling very tired.  I hated jet lag.  Now I was going to be tired all day.

    I put on the bulky winter clothing I had packed and went downstairs.  Uncle Jack, who was a morning person like I usually was, was reading the paper and enthusiastically eating a bowl of cereal.  Mum and Dad were both looking exhausted and drinking large mugs of coffee.  Matt was leaning his head on his hand and lazily eating a piece of toast.  I poured myself a bowl of cereal and began to eat it.

    Shortly after I finished, Dad stood up and announced that it was time to leave.  Suddenly, I was very nervous.  We were about to visit the school that I might be spending the next four years at.  What if I hated it?

    "We're Flooing to a place called the Mooning Dragon.  It's in the village closest to the school, which is in the middle of the Adirondacks,"  Uncle Jack explained as we followed him to the fireplace.  "I'll see you there."  He threw in a handful of powder and disappeared.

    "You go first, Amy,"  Dad said.

    I nodded and threw in a handful of Floo powder.  "The Mooning Dragon,"  I said clearly after I stepped in. 
   
    Once the spinning stopped and I could begin breathing once more, I opened my eyes and stepped out of the fire.  I was standing in a room that seemed the exact opposite of the pub we went to in New York City.  This place was bright and airy and had a very homey feel to it.

    The tables and chairs were all wooden and looked to be hand carved.  The bar itself even looked like it was hand carved.  The lady behind the bar was a round woman with a large smile on her wrinkled face.  Her curly white hair was half hidden underneath a knitted cap.  She said hello to me as I looked around her pub.

    The walls were adorned with pictures of outdoorsy scenes, many of which included various animals.  Most of them were so realistic that they could be mistaken for windows, had it not been the middle of winter.

    The customers were also vastly different from those at the pub in New York City.  Here, there were parents with giggling children, older couples out for a late breakfast, little old ladies with shopping bags, men reading the paper by themselves, and a few older teenagers laughing at one of the tables. 

    Uncle Jack was waiting for me next to the fireplace.  A few seconds later, my parents and Matt stepped out of the fire and joined us.  Uncle Jack gestured for us to sit at one of the nearby tables.

    "Welcome to The Mooning Dragon,"  he said as we sat down,  "One of my favorite pubs."

    "It's a very nice place,"  Dad said as he looked around,  "Quite rustic."

    "That's why I like it,"  Uncle Jack grinned.

    "Jack!"  the lady behind the bar said as she strode over to the table,  "How nice to see you."

    "You, too, Nat,"  Uncle Jack stood up and embraced the older lady.  Then he turned to us,  "This is Nat Fernski; she owns the place."

    "Nice to meet you,"  Dad stood up.

    "Nat, this is my brother, Walt,"  Uncle Jack gestured to my dad,  "And his wife, Julie, and their kids, Amy and Matt."

    Nat gave us all tight hugs.  "It's really wonderful to finally meet Jack's family.  Although I still say he needs to settle down and have some kids of his own."

    Uncle Jack blushed,  "I'm happy the way things are now, Nat."

    "I know you are, dear,"  Nat smiled,  "So, what brings you to New York?"

    "They're visiting the school,"  Uncle Jack told her.

    "Thinking of moving?"  Nat asked.

    "We are moving,"  Dad told her,  "Just not sure where yet."

    "Ah, well, the school here is excellent.  I went here myself as a girl,"  Nat said.  "Can I get you anything right now?"

    Dad looked at his watch,  "Maybe after the visit.  The headmaster is supposed to be here anytime."

    "All right.  I'll see you in a few hours then,"  Nat smiled and went back to the bar.

    "She's nice,"  Mum commented after Nat was occupied behind the bar.

    "Oh, she's great,"  Uncle Jack replied,  "Very motherly, though.  Keeps telling me to settle down."

    My parents laughed along with Uncle Jack and I glanced towards the door.  It had just opened and a man stepped in amongst a swirl of snow.  He closed the door and looked around the pub.

    He was a tall man, who looked maybe ten years older than my parents.  His face was lined, but his eyes were kind and he had a smile on his face.  The man's hair was mostly hidden by the hood of his cloak, but I could see bits of grey sticking out underneath it. 

    The man kept glancing around the pub and then his eyes met mine.  His smile broadened and he started walking over to our table.  I watched as he got closer and closer to our table. 

    "Are you Walter Eckerton?"  the man asked Dad.

    "Yes,"  Dad replied, standing up.

    "Hi, I'm Marvin Roberts, Headmaster of the Adirondack Academy of Magic,"  he said as he stuck out his hand.

    "Pleased to meet you,"  Dad shook his hand,  "My brother Jack, my wife Julie, and our kids, Amy and Matt."

    The adults exchanged handshakes and greetings as I watched Marvin Roberts.  He seemed nice enough.  His smile seemed genuine and I didn't get the sense that he was particularly nervous about this.  The man radiated a sense of calm and leadership.  In the span of two minutes, I could tell that he was a better headmaster than Killigan.

    "Well,"  Roberts clapped his hands together,  "I thought we'd start by a tour of the school and then we could talk in my office.  I would show you around the grounds as well, but there's a raging snowstorm out there, so we'll skip that."

    Mum looked relieved about this, but I kind of wanted to wander around in the snow.  I hadn't had a chance to do much with it yet.  I wanted to build snowmen and go sledding and all the other snow related stuff Uncle Jack had told me about.

    "Sounds good,"  Dad replied.

    "Right this way,"  Roberts turned and led us out of the pub.

    Roberts was certainly right about the storm.  Snow was billowing everywhere and my face froze as soon as I stepped outside.  I didn't really care though since the rest of me was perfectly warm.  From what I could see, the little village was beautiful under the blanket of white.

    "The village is called Dichtebos, which means 'dense forest' in Dutch.  You can see why it got the name,"  Roberts shouted over the wind.

    I could barely make out the trees surrounding the village.  It looked like the village was nestled in the middle of the bush.

    "Dutch wizards were the first to settle here,"  Roberts continued,  "Long before European Muggles arrived."

    I followed Roberts through the village, passing a few more pubs and some shops.  There were also quaint little houses and a church.  It looked like a very nice place, but I didn't really want to live there or anything.  Roberts explained the history of the village to my parents, but I didn't pay much attention.  Mum and Dad were walking alongside Roberts and Uncle Jack and Matt were just behind them.  I lagged behind, not really wanting to participate in the conversation.

    "The school is just up the path,"  Roberts said once we'd reached the outskirts of the village.  He gestured to a snow covered path that went through the thick bush.

    The path was very short and a few minutes later, we emerged onto the grounds of the school.  Roberts paused and turned to look at us.

    "The grounds start here.  Directly behind me a couple yards is the main building, which houses the dining hall, library, my office, the nurse's office, and the other teachers offices.  To the right of that is the upper level building, where all the classes for years four through seven.  On the other side of the main building is the lower level building, where classes for years one through three are held.  Behind the main building are the dormitories.  The greenhouses are directly to my left and the Quidditch pitch is to my right.  I'll start the tour with the main building."

    It seemed to me that we'd be doing a bit of touring the grounds since there were so many buildings.  At my school, there were just two buildings.  This place had four.  I trudged through the foot deep snow behind my brother and soon we made it to the building.

    Roberts opened the door and we walked into the Entrance Hall.  There was a staircase directly in front of us and a few doors that led off the large hall.

    "The dining hall is right this way,"  Roberts said as we followed him to the left.  "There aren't any meals going on right now, so it will be deserted."

    Roberts opened the large wooden doors and stepped inside.  I followed and saw that the dining hall looked much like the one at my school.  It was filled with small round tables and chairs to go with them.  There was a large rectangular table in the back, where the teachers probably sat.  What caught my attention, though, was the way it was decorated.  The ceiling was emblazoned with stars.  Twinkling stars that looked incredibly real.  They even formed the constellations of the Northern Hemisphere.  That was one thing that I really liked.  Even the tables each had a star carved into them.

    "The ceiling is brilliant,"  I said as we walked around the room.

    "Glad you like it,"  Roberts replied,  "Our theme is the night sky here.  Mainly because this is the best place in the state to star gaze.  We are most well known for our Astronomy department."

    "I love Astronomy,"  I told him.

    "You should like it here, then,"  Roberts smiled.

    Maybe, I thought.  So far it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but we had only seen the dining hall.

    After we'd finished in the dining hall, Roberts showed us the library.  I was very impressed by their collection of Astronomy books and wished I could have just stayed there for a while.  There were also a few students there who looked at us curiously, but didn't say anything. 

    Next we went to the lower level classes building.  It looked pretty much like any other building of classrooms I'd ever seen, not that I'd seen many.  I loved the Astronomy department, though.  It was much better than the one in Australia.  The telescopes were state of the art, even better than the one I had at home.  So that was another thing that wasn't as bad as I'd thought.  The upper level building looked exactly the same as the lower level, only it was a bit bigger. 

    The last stop of the tour was the dormitories, since no one really had any desire to see the greenhouses during the raging storm.  The dorms looked pretty much like the ones at my school did, with two people per room.  Roberts also showed us one of the common rooms, which was also decorated with a starry theme.  I had to admit that it was a bit nicer than my common room in Australia.

    I was torn in my thoughts about the place as I followed Roberts back to the main building.  On the one hand, I actually liked this place so far.  But on the other, I still didn't want to move.  I liked my school better because that's where Olivia was.  I really didn't want to have to make all new friends.  I wasn't even sure that I could.

    The headmaster led us up the stairs in the main building and down the corridor past the library.  He muttered a password to a painting of a knight and it swung forward to let us in. 

    Roberts's office was a warm cozy room with a roaring fire in the fireplace.  There were comfy looking armchairs in front of it.  The walls were painted a dark blue and everything else matched it.  There were shelves of books and weird looking instruments all over the place.

    Roberts gestured for us to sit down in the chairs.  I sat down in the one on the far left.  Uncle Jack sat next to me and pulled Matt onto his lap.  My parents sat on his other side.  Roberts took the remaining chair and smiled at us.

    "What do you think of the school?"  he asked.

    "It's very nice,"  Dad replied,  "Seems like a good atmosphere."

    "I agree,"  Mum said,  "I get the sense that it's a very relaxed place."

    "I like it,"  Uncle Jack commented,  "Seems like a better place than where we went to school."

    "Good, good,"  Roberts said and then turned to me,  "And how about you, Amy?  Do you like it?"

    All eyes fell on me and I tried to think of a word to describe the school.  "Er, well, it's nice enough.  I like the star theme, but I still don't want to move."

    "Understandable,"  Roberts smiled,  "Nobody wants to switch schools in the middle of their education.  But I assure you that you'll fit in here."

    I wasn't so sure about that, but I nodded anyway.

    "And what about you, Matt?  Did you like it?"  Roberts asked.

    Matt yawned and shrugged,  "I dunno."

    "We're all tired from the jet lag,"  Mum explained.

    "Ah, right.  Jet lag is a killer,"  Roberts replied.

    I yawned as well.  All I really wanted to do now was go to bed.  I hadn't slept much the previous night and now that we weren't walking around anymore, the fatigue was hitting me.  With that and the comfy chair and warm room, I was ready to drift off within a few seconds.

    "Well, I guess we'd better get down to the details,"  Roberts began,  "The most obvious thing is figuring out some place for him to transform.  You said he does not take Wolfsbane?"

    "No,"  Dad replied,  "For some reason it does not work for him.  It's got no effect whatsoever, so we stopped giving it to him."

    "How strange.  And you have no idea why?"

    "No.  We've taken him to numerous Healers, but no one has figured it out."

    "Huh.  Well then, he will obviously have to transform away from other people.    I was thinking I could have another building put up.  A small one to be used for this purpose.  I would just have to come up with a good excuse as to why it's there....  Well, there's time to come up with excuses."

    "That might work,"  Dad rubbed his chin,  "But I'd like to put up wards myself."

    "Of course,"  Roberts agreed,  "That would be fine."

    "What about your Ministry?  Do they have an opinion to this?  Did they say it would be all right for my son to attend your school?"  Dad asked.

    "Our Ministry stays out of school related matters for the most part.  I did run this by them, since we've never done anything like it before, and they said it would be fine as long as precautions were taken.  They even suggested that if it worked out, that we could advertise the school as a place werewolves could safely attend."

    That would be the complete opposite of my school, I thought.  I couldn't imagine Killigan ever advertising the place as a school for werewolves.

    "That's an intriguing idea,"  Dad commented,  "One I would be very supportive of."

    "I had a feeling you would,"  Roberts said,  "I've heard a little bit about your opinions of werewolf control laws in Australia.  I daresay I agree with you."

    "You're in the minority,"  Dad said darkly,  "Things are changing down there and I cannot stop it my own."

    "Well, all we can do is set a good example,"  Roberts replied,  "And having your son attend here is only the beginning."

    As I listened to Dad and Roberts's conversation, I became more and more convinced that we would be moving to New York.  The two of them were talking about changing the way werewolves are perceived around the world, starting with this one state.  I doubted there was anything that would convince my parents to move somewhere else.  Even Mum seemed interested in what they were talking about.  Uncle Jack looked absolutely fascinated.  Matt was starting to fall asleep in Uncle Jack's lap.  I turned away from their conversation and started reading the book titles on the shelf nearby.  There were some potions books that looked good.

    After what seemed like forever, Roberts and Dad stopped talking about changing the world's opinion of werewolves.

    "Well,"  Roberts said,  "We've gotten a bit off topic."

    "Quite all right,"  Dad replied,  "It was an interesting idea.  We'll have to talk about it again."

    "I shall owl you soon, then,"  Roberts smiled,  "Now we should get back to the details of your son attending here.  We were getting a bit ahead of ourselves."

    "A bit, yes,"  Dad laughed.

    "Well, I guess now we've got to talk about what exactly goes on during the full moon.  What I'll need to know in order to fully understand."

    Dad glanced at Mum and then cleared his throat.  "Right.  I guess I should start at the beginning, then.  He gets tired a few days before the full moon and then gets sick the day of.  We usually give him potions for that, but he winds up spending the whole day sleeping anyway.  Then he goes down to the basement shortly before the moon rises and spends the night there."

    Dad sighed and paused before continuing in a quieter voice.  "I'm sure you know what goes on during the full moon if a werewolf is not on Wolfsbane and is shut away by himself.  That's what happens with Matt.  We get him from the basement as soon as the moon sets.  He's always unconscious and we start with the healing spells and potions.

    "Is your nurse up to this?  We would be able to teach her the appropriate spells if necessary."

    "I am sure she will be able to handle it,"  Roberts assured him,  "She is quite skilled at healing.  I'll admit that she has never treated a werewolf, but I don't think it will be a big deal."

    "Good to hear it,"  Dad replied,  "We will of course go into greater detail if we decide to move here."

    If? I thought.  If?  It seemed to me that Dad had already made his decision.  I guess he just didn't want to voice it yet.  Either that or he had to discuss it with Mum.  She had been awfully quiet.

    "Excellent,"  Roberts grinned.  "Do you have any questions?"

    "Well, how do the other teachers feel about this?"  Dad asked.

    "I have not told them yet.  If you'd like me to get their opinions before you make your decision, I certainly will."

    "That would be nice,"  Dad replied.

    "I will owl them shortly, then,"  Roberts said,  "When can I expect your decision?"

    "Soon.  We'd like to have Amy enrolled for the upcoming year,"  Dad said.  "We have a few more schools to visit.  Within the next two months, we should know."

    Two months.  I had two more months before I was officially going to move.  Would we move right after that?  Did I just have two whole months before we left Australia?  Two months was nothing.  Hardly any time at all.

    "All right,"  Roberts said as he stood up.  "I'll be expecting your owl."

    "It was nice to meet you,"  Dad stood up and shook Roberts's hand.

    "You, too.  I'll walk with you back to the Mooning Dragon."

    I followed everyone out of Roberts's office and down the stairs.  It looked like lunch was about to begin because students were entering the dining hall, wrapped in layers of winter clothing.  They looked happy, though.  They were laughing and joking around.  Would I be with them in six months?  Was there a chance that some of the kids I was watching now would be my friends?





A/N:  Thanks to my betas, Dancer_of_Starlight and Joanne K!  Thanks as well to XDNLxtlz99 and Joanne K for their reviews!


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